What Is Family Diplomacy?

Family Diplomacy InitiativeOur world is becoming more complex and interdependent as more people, goods, services and interactions flow across national borders.  This changing global reality has triggered xenophobic, sometimes violent reactions that have been validated and amplified by political activists and opportunistic leaders.  Diplomacy is rightly upheld as an important response to the mounting tensions within and between some countries, but diplomacy should not be left strictly to professionals.  The internet and smart phones open exciting possibilities for citizens to be involved in diplomacy to help promote peace, prosperity and justice, but success and our global future depend in part on fresh approaches.   This is the third in a series of posts intended to develop family diplomacy as a new form of citizen diplomacy for a more caring world.  Read the first post here.  

This post, in the form of a Q&A, succinctly answers some basic questions about family diplomacy.

Why family diplomacy?

Families are widely valued across the world, and deeply impacted by international affairs, from global trade, to immigration, to climate change.  Yet the voices of families are hardly heard in intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, even as the voices of youth and women are rightly being amplified.  Allowing families to connect, share, learn, and speak publicly to their needs, concerns and aspirations in and to governments across the world is vital to nurturing a more caring world.  Learn more about why families should be involved in diplomacy here.

What is family diplomacy?

Family diplomacy is two things:

  1. Families connecting, sharing and learning across lines of country, class, race and religion.
  2. Families actively and publicly helping to build a more caring and connected world.
We Are Family Diplomats Poster
How do you define family?

Families come in all shapes and sizes, so we define families broadly as two or more people who love each other, or one or more people and one or more pets who love each other (and preferably live with each other).   This includes same-sex and opposite-sex couples, unmarried couples, couples with or without children, single parents with one or more kids, single persons with one or more pets, siblings or cousins living together, grandparents living with grandchildren, and others.  The importance of family is love, not who loves.

What does family diplomacy look like, and how can we get involved?

Family diplomacy can take a variety of specific forms.  Currently, through Learning Life, families can:

  1. Join our Family Diplomacy Initiative (FDI) on Facebook to connect, share and learn about our world with and via a growing number of families across the globe.
  2. Answer learning project questions in our FDI Facebook group, like our 2020 world food culture project questions, and like, comment and ask questions in response to other families’ answers.
  3. Join other Learning Life families on one of our “We Are Family Diplomats” posters by emailing us at email@learninglife.info with your family’s country of residence, your own brief completion of the sentence “We are family diplomats because…” and a clear, high-resolution jpg or png photo of your family.

There will be more ways to participate and develop as family diplomats soon, so stay tuned!

FDI world food culture project